Barack Obama

Barack Obama Says Marijuana Less Dangerous Than Alcohol, But Don't Expect Him to Do Anything About It

He's just the president guys


run the mouth

Admitted former pot-smoker Barack Obama says he doesn't think marijuana is "very different" from cigarettes (maybe he was doing it wrong, like Bill "I didn't inhale" Clinton), doesn't like that "poor kids" get locked up for marijuana possession, and said it was even less dangerous than alcohol. But don't expect his opinions to translate to policy changes. He's just the president after all.

From Slate:

The New Yorker's David Remnick has released his long-awaited profile of President Obama and, no surprises here, it's a long one. Clocking in at almost 17,000 words, the piece has several interesting insights, one of which comes when Remnick asked the president about the legalization of marijuana, and points out that Obama did not seem eager "to evolve with any dispatch and get in front of the issue." But Obama still says some things that would have been unthinkable for a president only a few years ago.

"As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life," Obama said. "I don't think it is more dangerous than alcohol." When Remnick pressed on whether marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol, Obama thought about it for a while and said it was less dangerous "in terms of its impact on the individual consumer," but emphasized that "it's not something I encourage." The president expressed particular concern with the disproportionate number of arrests for marijuana possession among minorities. "Middle-class kids don't get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do," he said, adding that individual users shouldn't be locked up "for long stretches of jail time."

Given that Obama says he's quit smoking cigarettes (which are kinda like weed to him) but still drinks socially (which he says could be more dangerous than pot) and has previously laughed off the suggestion that marijuana legalization would be beneficial (and continues to head a federal government waging a war on marijuana), his comments shouldn't be interpreted as much more than off-the-cuff punditry.  Just hope it's not part of the emerging federal moralism on alcohol use.

Read the whole New Yorker profile here. More Reason on marijuana here, and Reason's October 2011 cover story on how despite the hype Barack Obama turned out to be just another drug warrior here.

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  1. Obama a hypocrite. Water wet. Sun hot.

    1. “Many folks think I’m stupid, while other folds think I’m a liar. But with this latest interview, I am hoping to show I am both.”

  2. I can’t wait to hear defenses of his “I’m a hypocritical asshole” comments.

    1. Bush did it too!

  3. It’s a shame marijuana isn’t dangerous. It could have saved us from Obama.

    1. Obama, Bush, Clinton….shit probably Carter, Ford, and Nixon too. Bush I, prolly not. Prolly.

      1. I’m saying ixnay on ixoNay. WWII officer right into politics.

        1. So probably more a meth guy.

        2. In proper Pig-Latin, wouldn’t “Nixon” be “Ixonnay”?

  4. But Don’t Expect Him to Do Anything About It

    Good, since his solution would probably mean imposing another prohibition on alcohol.


    “One of the things that I’ve learned to appreciate more as president is you are essentially a relay swimmer in a river full of rapids, and that river is history,” Obama told Remnick. “You don’t start with a clean slate, and the things you start may not come to full fruition on your timetable. But you can move things forward. And sometimes the things that start small may turn out to be fairly significant.”

    “I can tell you that I will measure myself at the end of my presidency in large part by whether I began the process of rebuilding the middle class and the ladders into the middle class, and reversing the trend toward economic bifurcation in this society,” Obama said.

    The man has three years left in office and is basically saying I am going to fail to bring my agenda to fruition. This is a fucking astonishing thing for a sitting president to say, particularly just before a mid-term election.

    1. He’s checking out early. This president stuff is more tiring than he thought. I mean, he ordered the Obamacare websites to work, and they didn’t! What is he supposed to do?

      1. Did he ever actually, you know, check in?

        1. Did God check in on how the universe was doing in the early stages? No. HE fucking spoke and it WAS. Barry expects no less.

      2. It’s almost as if the DNC told him to stay away during the 2014 election cycle.

    2. you are essentially a relay swimmer in a river full of rapids

      What, no pira?as?

      1. Does The Amazon have rapids?

        1. The Tana does. 😉

    3. What’s more astonishing to me is how little being a lame duck seems to effect him or most presidents. You will never run for another election, so why not do something a little bit bold like lighten up an MJ or pardon some people or something. Instead it’s business as usual, MJ legal, ha ha ha, etc.

      1. You’d think, but at this point, why would they bother to rock the boat or fight the status quo? If they were truly interested in shaking things up, they would have done so in the first place. Any kind of bold initiative is just work and stress and effort for them, and considering the narcissism and self-involvement of anyone who makes it to president, why would they put themselves through that? Not to mention that they could be tarred with some kind of historical fuckup, and that might tarnish their “legacy”, so they’re not interested.

  6. Reminder: Tip O’Neill and the Democratic Congress did far more damage to blacks than Reagan ever did

    That’s not to say Reagan and Republican drug warriors weren’t onboard with mandatory minimums and asset forfeiture, but the actual law was a cynical political ploy that has resulted in mass disenfranchisement of minorities and police abuse on steroids.

  7. I can tell you that I will measure myself at the end of my presidency in large part by

    citing a list of completely imaginary “achievements”.

    1. He kind of kept us most of the way out of Syria.

  8. Obama doesn’t even take himself seriously.

    1. His people do that for him.


  9. It is almost as if the president is just a spokesperson for the massive, cancerous federal bureacracy and has no actual power

  10. Obama thought about it for a while and said it was less dangerous “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer,” but emphasized that “it’s not something I encourage.”

    This obama-ism should be an illustration in the Handbook of Sociopathy.

  11. “Read the whole New Yorker profile here.”

    I’m pretty sure I won’t be doing that.

    1. +1 insurance policy

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